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Powers creates first 100% Irish rye whiskey

Irish Distillers-owned Powers has launched the first 100% Irish rye whiskey following trials at the Midleton Distillery.

The brand’s rye whiskey retails for €40(US$32/£32)

As a result of experimentation carried out at Midleton Distillery in Cork, Ireland, Powers Irish Rye was produced to ‘shake up’ the rye whiskey category.

Eric Ryan, Powers’ distiller, said: “We attribute the success of this whiskey firstly to the extended team at Midleton Distillery, yet also to the generations of Powers distillers who considered rye grain to be a unique component of their craft.

“From our commitment to farming a difficult crop, to reduced brewhouse throughput, to longer fermentation times, and considering the exceptional cask profile; if it was only about efficiency, we would never have used rye. But it proved a worthy endeavour.”

The liquid is said to balance the earthy, peppery character of rye with the sweetness imparted from maturation in American oak casks – with virgin oaks, first-fills and refills in the cask mix.

Flavours are said to include maraschino cherry, orange peel and toffee banana, combined with the candied ginger and clove, burnt orange and peppermint. The finish is described as long, alongside a ‘prickle of chilli oil’.

The creation of Powers Irish Rye is rooted in the brand’s heritage, as Carol Quinn, archivist at Irish Distillers, discovered.

Old mash bills and recipes revealed Powers has experimented with rye in the past. As scientific knowledge of distilling expanded during the 19th century, the brand’s makers strove to innovate with new techniques and processes.

Quinn continued: “Throughout the history of the famous Powers John’s Lane Distillery there was a willingness to challenge the old ways of doing things and experiment with new ideas, from urban farming on the distillery roof in the 1940s, to bottling in-house and the introduction of the world’s first miniature Irish whiskey, the ‘baby Power’.

“This has fed very much into the DNA of Powers Irish Rye today, both in the use of rye and in the method of distillation.”

Retailing for RRP €40(US$32/£32), the whiskey clocks in at 43.2% ABV. It will be available from 20 February 2023 in the US, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Dublin Airport and online at and via The Whisky Exchange in the UK.

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